Kansas Laws; Why do some of them exist?

Aubrey Givens, Journalist

Imagine strolling down the streets of Topeka, Kansas. The night air is crisp and calm. There is a slight breeze, because it’s Kansas, afterall. For some reason, you decide to start singing the alphabet song. Out of nowhere, a slew of police cars arrive and arrest you on sight. You are left scratching your head and contemplating your new criminal record all because it is illegal to sing your ABC’s at night in the city of Topeka. These unusual laws are not isolated incidents. There are many other weird laws in Kansas.

Did you know that catching a fish with your bare hands is not allowed in Kansas? Catching fish with your hands is also called noodling. ¨To illustrate, catfish anglers typically noodle for catfish, during spawning season, by sticking their hands in natural holes in riverbanks or other fishing structures, where male catfish are likely nesting and guarding their eggs,” (Hovatter). Noodling is banned in Kansas because of the effects it has on the ecosystem. Research conducted by the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) shows noodling impacts the catfish population in smaller tributaries where hand-fishers prefer to fish. Studies indicate that the catfish population is more vulnerable in these smaller rivers and streams due to less than 25 percent of catfish migrating from large rivers to smaller tributaries during the spawn. Thus, noodling in these smaller bodies of water may lead to the overharvesting of existing catfish. Furthermore, research shows hand-fishing negatively impacts the catfish population because, within 12 hours of the male catfish’s removal from its nest, a fungus forms on the eggs, resulting in the eggs’ inevitable death,”(Hovatter). 

 Have you ever thought of customizing your car-horn experience? If you live in Kansas, think again. Any car horns that are musical are banned. Elizabeth Easley commented that those horns are annoying anyway. Students have shared some crazy laws that they have heard of, for example student Ben Monday commented, “It is illegal to kill whales in Kansas.” It really is inspiring how much our state cares about aquatic life. Student Lainy Myers commented, “It’s illegal to whistle at night in Topeka Kansas.” Topea must really dislike anything musical. 

What are your thoughts on these laws? Personally, I believe that noodling should be outlawed. The dangers it imposes on wildlife is too great, and it just seems like a lot of extra work. A rod and reel work just fine. Though I don’t understand why Kansas, especially Topeka, feels the need to ban so many musical things. Music is an important part of my life, as it is for many of us at SES. However, I understand the need to prevent distractions on the road. Especially with some of the horrific drivers we have in our school.


Sources Cited:

Hovatter, Kiara. “What Is Noodling Catfish and Is It Ethical?” HookandBullet, KC Online Media Brand, 29 Apr. 2021, https://www.hookandbullet.com/catfish-noodling/. 


Sources Consulted:

Annie. “10 Crazy Laws in Kansas That Will Leave You Shaking Your Head.” OnlyInYourState, 8 Aug. 2021, https://www.onlyinyourstate.com/kansas/crazy-kansas-laws/.